Does Video Poker Pay Better on Higher Denominations Too?

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Brian Christopher sits at a video poker machine

Those who have been reading Flip The Switch regularly know we’ve talked about how higher denomination machines, overall, pay back a higher percentage than their lower denomination counterparts. Each step up in denomination usually comes with a step up in payouts.

So a player wondered: What about Video Poker?

Is a higher denom on video poker a better payout percentage as they are on slots? How does video poker differ from slots?

Stacey R.

It’s not unusual for Video Poker pay tables to improve as the bet increases. But this isn’t always the case – some casinos actually offer the best pay tables at medium denominations because they don’t want to incentivize players to play the highest denominations consistently.

But there are concrete differences between Slots and Video Poker. Video Poker is based off a single deck of cards, which means there is a specific and definitive number of outcomes, and mathematicians have been able to work out the exact odds of various things happening. 

With that knowledge and the pay tables publicly posted, you can actually figure out exactly what the payout percentage when played with perfect strategy.

Even better, other people have done the hard work for us, so you can generally look up what a given pay table on Video Poker pays back based on the game type and a couple of the key numbers, often what a full house and flush pays.

So, in that case, you have a lot more knowledge about how good or bad a given game of Video Poker is in a casino. You can easily look up what pay tables exist, and you can review the pay table of each denomination to see if it makes sense to increase your denomination for a better overall payout.

When you do, you’ll often find payback improves as you go from nickel and dime to quarters or dollars. Some casinos, however, do not like offering their best options at very high denominations. 

This is because the house edge on Video Poker is a lot narrower than on slots (the best pay tables can even have a small positive expected result in the long term). So to nudge those who play the best pay tables downward, they set them on certain denominations only, such as 25 cent denomination.

The other thing that differs is that there is a skill-based element to Video Poker in that there is a correct strategy to pursue to get the maximum payout percentage over time. So, it helps to practice. 

For that, we recommend checking out training tools from sites like VideoPoker.com – the team at VideoPoker.com are also the ones that develop many of the game variations you find in casinos, so they’re a trusted source for learning how to play. 

Their Pro membership includes training software that can instruct you when you’re making an incorrect decision, and what the correct decision should be. They also offer a specific subscription option for the training software. Over time, you can fix mistakes in your play and ensure you’re capturing the best payback for your skillful play! And in that way, it’ll pay you back over time by making better decisions while playing.

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